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Meet CC Summit Presenter: Suzanne Wakim


Photo courtesy of Suzanne Wakim

Are you joining us at the 2021 CC Global Summit (September 20-24)? There are only three weeks to go. Up next in our ‘Meet the CC Summit Presenter’ series, we’re excited to introduce you to Suzanne Wakim. Suzanne is Coordinator for Distance Education and Student Learning Outcomes at Butte Community College. She is also a biology instructor who has designed and developed over a dozen biology courses in multiple modalities for multiple institutions. She is a Course Facilitator for @ONE (Online Network of Educators); a Project Facilitator for the ASCCC OER Initiative; and a Certificate Facilitator for Creative Commons. She has created online educational resources for the Open Learning Initiative, OpenStax, Nature, Discovery Education, and co-authored the most adopted Biology textbook in LibreTexts.  She conducts nationwide trainings on topics including Universal Design for Learning, Adaptable Course and Assessment Design, Open Pedagogy, Accessibility, and Online Course Design.


Based in?: Paradise, CA, USA

Summit Session: Strategies for Assessing and Adapting OER for Inclusion

How did you get involved with Creative Commons?

I don’t remember.  My journey into the world of Open has been circuitous.  But, I vividly remember my first time participating in the CC EDU meeting.  I had never been in such a global space (with folks from almost all continents).  That was when I knew I wanted to be “all in” with advocacy for OER. 

How many times have you been to CC Global Summit?

Last year was my first, and I was lucky enough to get to volunteer too!

In the future, what is something you would like to see at the CC Summit?

Guided discussions and opportunities to brainstorm as a group. Loosely moderated because I do better with structure.

Why are you an advocate for Open?

Everyone deserves access to information – financial gatekeeping is wrong.  Everyone is worthy of participating in the global commons – we are better together.

“We are all in this together, and we each have something valuable to bring to the table. When we collaborate, we will find ways to make the future better for everyone.”

What is your proudest achievement?

I recently began facilitating for the CC Certificate, and I am still giddy from being selected.  

What is the best part of what you do? What is the most difficult part of what you do?

I help faculty build engaging and accessible online classes and open educational resources.  That’s both the best part and the most difficult part!

What is your favorite GIF?

Duck Happy GIFfrom Duck GIFs

What tool/platform/app are you loving right now?

Mentimeter. It helps keep my presentations engaging and can help lighten heavy topics. 

What’s one new trend that you think the CC community should look out for?

How can we (the creators of content) work together to improve our collective resources?  There are many slightly different editions of some resources, and it would be great to have a place where the authors of different versions can collaborate on a master collection of versions.  This isn’t so much a trend to look for, but one I want us to begin ?.

If you could only leave people with one message from your summit presentation, what would it be?

If we want students to feel that they belong in our class, they need to see themselves in our content and materials. 

What was the best career advice you ever received? What was the worst career advice you ever received?

I was in a research PhD program and found that I prefer teaching to research. The best advice was a mentor who told me that I can teach at the Community College level with a Masters, and that the extra years of experience would outweigh the difference in degrees.  That one discussion set me on a different path to where I am now – and I am forever grateful.  The worst advice was that “real scientists do research”.  That made my decision to go into teaching all that much easier. 

What would you like to say to Creative Commons on our 20th anniversary?

Thank you for all the amazing work you do to advance the equitable sharing of information ? 

What does ‘Better Sharing, Brighter Future’ mean to you?

We are all in this together, and we each have something valuable to bring to the table.  When we collaborate, we will find ways to make the future better for everyone.

Haven’t had a chance to register for the 2021 Global Summit yet? Register here >>

Posted 30 August 2021